Apr 28, 2009Editor’s note: Today we are launching a daily digest of the latest developments concerning the swine influenza H1N1 virus. This digest will be updated more than once a day as news developments dictate. The United States now has 64 confirmed swine flu cases, up from 40 reported yesterday, the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this morning. Three of the new cases are from California, 4 are from Texas, and 17 are from New York City. Five patients have been hospitalized, CDC officials said this afternoon. [CDC swine flu investigation page]At a briefing this morning, the World Health Organization said governments have officially confirmed 26 swine flu cases in Mexico, 6 in Canada, 3 in New Zealand, and 2 each in Spain and the United Kingdom, for a total of 39 cases outside the United States. In addition, Reuters reported one confirmed case in Israel. [Apr 28 Reuters story]California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in California over swine flu today, as Los Angeles County officials investigated two deaths as possibly related to the virus, according to a Reuters report.The Obama administration is asking Congress for a $1.5 billion supplemental appropriation to deal with the swine flu outbreak, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced at a Senate committee hearing on the outbreak today.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday authorized emergency use of influenza medicines and the rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test for response to the swine flu virus outbreak. The move allows use of the drugs in younger children and permits a broader range of health professionals, including public health officials and volunteers, to distribute the drugs. [Apr 27 FDA press release]GlaxoSmithKline has geared up production of zanamivir (Relenza), and Roche has increased production of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in response to the swine flu outbreak. The new virus has shown sensitivity to both of the drugs. [Apr 28 Bloomberg News story]US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said yesterday that animal health surveillance has shown no swine flu infections in US swine. [Apr 27 USDA press release]The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said yesterday that it appointed an expert team to determine if the new swine H1N1 virus has a direct connection to pigs and deployed a team of animal health experts to Mexico to help the government assess the epidemiologic situation in the pig production sector.